$19 billion fee, Barney Frank, financial institutions, financial reform, loophole, Massachusetta banks, Olympia Snowe, Scott Brown, Susan Collins, Treasury Department, Volcker Rule
Scott Brown is a quick learner. In his short time in the Senate he’s become a master at the game of ‘How To String Along The Gullible Democrat’ aka Lucy and the Football.
Here’s how it goes: Obstructionist Republican says, “I would vote for this particular piece of legislation except for X.” Gullible Democrat believes Obstructionist Republican (although for the life of me I can’t figure out why) and changes or takes out X. Obstructionist Republican then says, “That’s all well and good, but I also don’t like Y. If you take that out too, I may vote for said legislation.” Gullible Democrat removes Y, and the process repeat itself over and over until said legislation is either dead or too weak to do anything remotely resembling its original intention.
The latest example is the so-called financial reform bill. Brown wanted a loophole in the Volcker Rule to exempt banks in Massachusetts from being subject to limits on risky investments. With the help of Barney Frank and (surprise!) the Treasury Department, the loophole was inserted into the legislation. (BTW, also at the insistence of Senator Brown, another loophole was added to the Volcker Rule which may delay its implementation until 2022.)
Brown’s objection to the bill then shifted to a $19 billion fee to be collected from large financial institutions, calling it a “tax.” I’m sure Brown’s opposition has absolutely nothing to do with the $450,000 he received from executives at financial institutions in the six days before the election in Massachusetts. Strictly coincidence..
Guess what? The bank fee is out now, too
“Top Democratic House and Senate negotiators who worked out a deal on a sweeping overhaul of financial regulations regrouped Tuesday to eliminate a $19 billion fee on banks that had threatened to derail the legislation.”
Brown wasn’t alone. He had two other Lucies standing with him:
“Besides Brown, Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, both of whom also voted for the Senate bill last month, said they, too, had qualms about the bank assessment that negotiators inserted into the bill last week.”
I guess the only alternative to the Democrats being gullible and naive is that they are complicit and corrupt. That they don’t really want actual reform and are just using the guise of compromising with the Republicans to play their favorite game—giving the appearance of doing something while in reality doing nothing which might upset the goose that lays the golden eggs of campaign contributions.
Gullible and naive or complicit and corrupt? Either way it doesn’t bode well for the future of the Republic.